Grab­bing the home ad­van­tage with both hands

Motor Sport News - - Headline News -

Guess which Bri­ton was the home driver to be the high­est placed on Rally GB (or the RAC Rally) more times than any other? Fair enough, that was an easy one. You knew it would be Colin Mcrae.

What about one of the two driv­ers who have fin­ished top Brit on the se­cond high­est num­ber of oc­ca­sions? That’s much tougher. Here’s a clue: it’s not Richard Burns. Or Roger Clark. They were four years each, by the way.

Try Rus­sell Brookes and Matthew Wilson. Six years, that’s how many times they cel­e­brated be­ing high­est placed home driver. Brookes’ record through the late Sev­en­ties is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, with podi­ums in 1977, ’78 and ’79. As for Matthew, he outscored his fa­ther Mal­colm by six to two in terms of mak­ing Bri­tain proud when the world cham­pi­onship came to town – al­though MW Sr re­tains some brag­ging rights – he did man­age a podium in 1993.

Of the re­cent he­roes, Kris Meeke and El­fyn Evans have man­aged two years each. Four driv­ers have the hon­our of be­ing top Brit once since 1973: Terry Kaby, Louise Aitken-walker, Alas­tair Gin­ley and Mark Lovell.

By his own ad­mis­sion, Lovell’s 1988 RAC re­sult wasn’t one to be par­tic­u­larly proud of. He was the first home driver to make the fin­ish in 17th place over­all – the low­est po­si­tion ever for the top Brit. In his de­fence, 1988 was a hor­ren­dously snowy event and he was driv­ing a Group A Ford Sierra RS Cos­worth on com­pletely un­suit­able tyres.

Brookes was top six times

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